twentyteneightyfour

Sonia Rykiel to collaborate with H&M

Posted in High Street Fashion, News by Nneoma Ulu on September 30, 2009

Parisian designer, Sonia Rykiel, this week has been confirmed as next in line to collaborate with H&M. I, like most, am patiently awaiting the Jimmy Choo collection for H&M to drop in stores in November so this announcement has slightly thrown me as I’m still figuring out how I am going to fund the potential new additions to my wardrobe.

H&M are really spoiling us as Sonia Rykiel’s collaboration will consist of two collections. The first, a collection of  lingerie, will be available in both H&M stores and Sonia Rykiel stores from December 5th. This will be followed by the main collection, available in stores from February 20th next year.

Sonia Rykiel via NYDaily.com

Sonia Rykiel via NYDaily.com

This is one that I’ll be happy to queue for because if it’s anything like Sonai’s main line, we are definitely in for a treat.

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

Sonia Rykiel Resort SS '10 via style.com

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Milan Fashion Week: Giorgio Armani does good

Posted in Milan Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 30, 2009

I have struggled to get into the Milan shows. New York and London showcased some amazing collections and Milan has felt a bit flat in comparison. There were many big names showing in Milan, too many to list so it’s a shame that I haven’t really been wowed. One collection that has caught my eye is Giorgio Armani. Love the colours, love the shapes and of course, love the side-partings.

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Giorgio Armani SS '10 via elleuk.com

Milan Fashion Week: Christopher Kane keeps ’em coming

Posted in Milan Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 29, 2009

You’d think by now that Christopher Kane would be spent. After a sell-out collection for TopShop (there are a few bits left online) and an excellent Spring/Summer 2010 offering at London Fashion Week, he still managed to create a 21-strong dress collection for Versace diffusion line, Versus. I think I’d find the energy from somewhere too if Donatella Versace approached me to help her re-launch the label. The collection was very simple with only 3 colours – red, nude and black, yet youthful and sexy.

Whilst I’m not crazy about this collection, I think that Christopher Kane needs a standing ovation for churning out the designs. Here’s hoping Donatella treats him to an end of summer getaway on her yacht.

Versus SS '10

Versus SS '10 via elleuk.com

Versus SS '10 via elleuk.com

Versus SS '10 via elleuk.com

Versus SS '10 via elleuk.com

Versus SS '10 via elleuk.com

Milan Fashion Week: When I grow up I wanna wear Gucci

Posted in Milan Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 27, 2009

The fashion buzz in London has died down with Fashion Week done and dusted until next February. However, the Fashion Week fun does not end there. In fact we are only half way through the month of fashion weeks. So to Milan. I must admit, I do not plan to post too much about Milan Fashion Week, well I say that now but it might all change when I see the clothes.

Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection is grown-up and sexy. The colours were muted and the shapes were very simple. Yet the collection as a whole was effective. It would make the perfect capsule wardrobe. If for some insane reason you could afford to buy the whole collection then you’d be set for a whole summer (at least) with everything from day clothes to party dresses to swimwear. Chances are, like me, you probably can’t afford one piece, let alone the whole collection but I will be keeping Gucci in mind when shopping for my SS ’10 wardrobe in the hopes of channeling the grown-up sexy look.

Also, I love the side-partings on the models. Side-partings and sunglasses remind me of the beach and holidays! Bring on next summer!

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

Gucci SS '10 via elleuk.com

London Fashion Week: I wanna be a Burberry girl

Posted in London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 24, 2009

I have a confession. I really wanted to dislike the Burberry Spring Summer 2010 collection. I was adamant that after all the hype around it – rumours of the Olsen twins flying in and Grazia incessantly tweeting from their HQ the week before – that it probably wouldn’t be too special and I could get away with glossing over it. How wrong I was.

This collection is strong and the colours are beautiful. If you’re about detail – this one is for you. The way the fabrics are manipulated give the clothes are really opulent feel. My one tiny issue are those camel coloured belts that pop up on a few of the coats and dresses. They look cheap.

Christopher Bailey’s touch has been truly magical and it amazes me that in such a short time he has managed to turnaround a brand that was starting to become a shadow of its former self. Something reserved for the older folk (no offence). Christopher Bailey has set his sights on world domination from a little cubby-hole in Victoria. From the new ad campaigns with hot British icons like Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and Emma Watson to getting Burberry into the FTSE 100 (the 100 companies on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation) proving that not only do they make great clothes, people are buying them! Let his reign continue I say!

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Burberry SS '10 via elleuk.com

Fashion and Charity: A match made in design hell

Posted in Thoughts by Nneoma Ulu on September 23, 2009

I love working in Victoria, nothing excites me more than getting out of the station and wondering what freebie will be shoved in my hand to help start off my day. Though, yesterday was like most days in these recession times – fruitless. So imagine my glee when one of my colleagues shoved a printed tote bag in my face and upon opening it, was greeted with a glossy Grazia magazine, perfect reading for my tube journey home. I left the bag at work – never been keen on freebie totes.

I eagerly flicked through and absorbed the must-have buys for the week, then stumbled across a story with the title ‘150 rapes a day – could you help?’ sandwiched somewhere between news of Jennifer Anniston having 3 phones for each of her lovers and Ronnie Wood dumping 20-year-old Ekaterina to go back to Jo. Here was a moving story about the Simelela Centre, a support centre for the victims of rape and sexual violence in South Africa, a country that has the highest incidence of rape in the world – nearly 150 a day. This was a call to action – so what could I do to help?

Buy some shoes? Not just any shoes… Shoes from a collaboration between Elton John’s AIDS Foundation and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon.  The collection, Project PEP, is a limited edition range of shoes, bags and accessories that will go on sale at the end of October with 25% of sales going directly to help the centre in South Africa. The only problem with the collection? It’s absolutely hideous.

Project PEP Jimmy Choo range

Project PEP Jimmy Choo range via graziadaily.co.uk

Large Jimmy Choo tote part of The PEP Project via graziadaily.co.uk

Project PEP Jimmy Choo range via graziadaily.co.uk

Don’t get me wrong, I commend Elton and Tamara for this project, it has goodness at its core but why does the design have to suffer? The collection seems like a major departure from Jimmy Choo’s usual lustworthy goods. The print is juvenile and tacky and I really do wonder who the designers were thinking of when they put this together. The range looks like it belongs in one of the tourist shops on Oxford Street (the Tottenham Court Road end) that sell patent pleather bags with tube maps of London printed on them.

Most people would love to buy any product knowing that some of the proceeds would be going to help those less fortunate than themselves but not at the risk of owning something that is lacklustre and cheap-looking. Creating a product that no one wants to buy does nothing to support the cause and creates a conundrum for us as customers – to buy or not to buy? In this case, I’d rather donate directly to the AIDS Foundation and save my Jimmy Choo fund for some shoes that are actually wearable. Whether that is down to my shallow and materialistic nature is neither here nor there but one thing is for sure, I will not sacrifice my style for charity. So then it falls on the designer to take responsibility for their creations and design goods that not only truly represent the cause but also that their customers would buy regardless of the additional charitable draw. Fashion is about aesthetics and people who care about   fashion are not ashamed of this. Designers shouldn’t forget that they are in the business of creating aesthetically-pleasing goods especially when teaming up with those not in the business. Suffice to say, the freebie tote is likely to never see the light of day.

Elton John, Tamara Mellon & David Furnish via the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Elton John, Tamara Mellon & David Furnish via the Elton John AIDS Foundation

London Fashion Week: Rise of the pretty girl dress

Posted in London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 22, 2009

I love a good day dress. There’s nothing better than slipping on a dress that catapults me back to the days my mother forced me to wear dresses to all of the family social functions in an attempt to make me look presentable, though I’d drop food all down myself everytime without fail. I remember my mother dressing me up in the most amazing dresses with great little and handbags and those little frilly socks (I bet she didn’t think she was setting me up for a fashion-loving life of poverty). Luella’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection makes me want to be 7 again – that perfect age when all I ever wanted to be was a pretty girl in a pretty dress. Now I am a grown-up (well at least pretending) and Luella has designed this collection seemingly with girls who want to feel pretty in mind, though old enough to wear killer shoes. It’s a real girly girl collection so tomboys need not bother. The cute separates are something that I hope will be copied on the high street – so easy to wear and more of that “grown-up” pretty girl chic. Hair extensions still needed for an up-do with that bow!

Luella SS '10 via style.com

Luella SS '10 via style.com

Luella SS '10 via style.com

Luella SS '10 via style.com

Luella SS '10 via style.com

Luella SS '10 via style.com

The dresses had barely been off the models and up pops Alex Chung sporting a cute printed number at Luella’s afterparty. Would have loved to see Alexa rocking some better shoes though….

Alexa Chung in Luella SS '10 via instyle.co.uk

Alexa Chung in Luella SS '10 via instyle.co.uk

London Fashion Week: TopShop Unique

Posted in London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 21, 2009

TopShop Unique is a performs consistently every fashion week. Serving up (mostly) wearable clothes at relatively affordable prices (considering it is high street). What I like about the collection that it is young, fun and there is no doubt that TopShop Unique is not committed to its followers. The show is always eagerly anticipated and brings out the hip and hot of the London fashion scene. Their Spring/Summer 2010 brought a slightly old looking Kate Moss and rather sparkly Olivia Palermo to the front row.

This collection makes me want to start planning my next Summer holiday in Ibiza. Those pink lips are bound to be everywhere next Summer. Loving the studded shark tee!

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

TopShop Unique SS '10 via marieclaire.co.uk

Where are all the real women in fashion?

Posted in Comment, London Fashion Week by Nneoma Ulu on September 21, 2009

So everyone got into the office this morning and raised their eyebrows at the news of the three size 12 to 14 models that were sent down Mark Fast’s Spring/Summer 2010 show at London Fashion Week this weekend. It’s quite interesting that in contrast, over the weekend, the fashion world didn’t really seem that concerned about it and the “controversy” was more of a murmur than a full blown scandal. I guess that’s a reflection of the fact that fashion people don’t really care much for those over a fashionably acceptable size 10.

Mark Fast SS '10

Mark Fast SS '10

Recently US Glamour used a picture of the plus-size model, Lizzi Miller in their September issue showing a little bit of belly, the response to this body confidence article was overwhelmingly positive from their readers loved seeing this “real woman” type on the pages of their magazine. Again the rest of the fashion world were pretty quiet.

Lizzi Miller in US Glamour

Lizzi Miller in US Glamour

The reality is that if you’re not skinny then it seems that you have less capacity to be fashionable or stylish. Look at the fashionable people photographed by The Satorialist’s Scott Schuman… they might as well all be models. Where are the real people in fashion? Behind the scenes and hidden in black clothing is my guess.

The rise of fashion bloggers at the international Fashion Weeks, brings with it the rise of “real-person reporting” from the shows. The fash pack are no longer shrouded in mystery and now have faces – well we can at least see what they are wearing. The ELLE girls have done a great job at providing photos of  what they are wearing during London Fashion Week on the ELLE website showing that they are real girls and fellow fashion bloggers, Disco Nap, have made an attempt to dispel myths about the fashion industry. Truth be told most fashionistas aren’t model types and the average size in the UK is a size 16, so should we expect to see more larger sized models on the catwalks? Probably not.

Quite frankly, Mark Fast’s homage to the fuller figured lady did not inspire me to go out and buy his tight bodycon mini dresses. It’s inspired me to go on a diet. I hope that I don’t represent the vast majority of women out there but my shallow fashion-loving self just wants to be as close to a model size as possible. Sadly, I’m a sucker of our times.

Also isn’t it interesting that no one is really talking about PPQ’s history-making all black cast for their Spring/Summer 2010 show? Silence speaks volumes!

All black models at PPQ SS '10

All black models at PPQ SS '10

London Fashion Week: There is nothing Gray about this

Posted in London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2010 by Nneoma Ulu on September 21, 2009

I must confess – I am a little afraid of colour, generally opting for the safe black option (it is the most flattering colour after all). But oh my, Louise Gray. Her Spring/Summer 2010 collection makes me want to burn all of my dark clothes in favour of a colour explosion for every single outfit. The vibrant prints and colour combinations bring a real fresh feel. The printed jumpsuit and day dresses make me wish it was Summer now!

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Nicholas Kirkwood for Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

Nicholas Kirkwood for Louise Gray SS '10 via elle.com

I still need those hair extensions – what better way to keep cool in the Summer than to casually bundle all your hair into a top knot with a flash of colour. And those shoes!! You can just tell that Nicholas Kirkwood has worked his magic and the outcome is waiting list worthy.

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